J.R. Smith No Longer Actively With Cavs: Report
J.R. Smith's days in Cleveland are numbered.
According to The Athletic's Joe Vardon, Smith will "no longer be actively with the Cavs," and will instead be working out on his own as the organization searches for a trade partner. The 33-year old guard is averaging a career-low 6.7 points per game in roughly 20 minutes of action per night, which is the least amount of court-time he has seen since the 2007-08 season.
The team released the following statement moments ago: "The Cleveland Cavaliers announced today that JR Smith will no longer be with the team as the organization works with JR and his representation regarding his future. The organization wishes JR and his family well and appreciates and thanks him for his contributions to the community, to the team and his role in the 2016 NBA Championship."
According to The Athletic's Jason Lloyd, Smith had recently expressed a desire to play elsewhere since the Cavs aren't focused on winning. "I don't think the goal is to win. The goal isn't to go out there and try to get as many wins as you can. I think the goal is to develop and lose to get lottery picks. I think that was always the plan." Asked if he wants to be part of the team moving forward, Smith said, "Not if the goal isn't to compete, to win."
Lloyd reports that Smith prefers to be traded rather than accepting a buyout.
"I don't want my legacy to be remembered like that in Cleveland. I don't think that's fair to the people I see every single day walking around the arena. I don't think that's fair to the trainers or equipment guys. ... I just look at it differently than being traded. I don't like the statement of getting bought out."
The Cavs will host LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night, marking James' first game against his former team as a member of the Lakers. That game, airing on ESPN, is scheduled to tipoff at 8pm ET.